A Midsummer Night's Dream (fairy clips) - a film by Bo Bergstrom





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Published on Dec 17, 2010

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William Shakespeare's most popular comedy was written around 1595. It portrays the adventures of four star-crossed lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with woodland fairies and a duke and duchess. Taking place in a mythical Athens and an enchanted forest, there is a handsome fairy king, a misguided parent, young lovers, a weaver who's transformed into a half-donkey, wood sprites and elves.

This work is widely performed around the globe, and no wonder - it's about the world's most popular pastime, falling in love. But as Puck knows, falling in love can make fools of us all.

What would a film made on a shoestring budget look like that was created by amateur actors with no Classics credentials, who were determined to shine? An unlikely group of amateur Shakespeareans created this cinematic vision of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the mountains and forests of the Southwest U.S. With women playing some of the male roles, for most of the actors this was their first film work.

Opening up the play and leaving film studios behind, Nature takes center stage: high mountain ledges provide the throne for Fairy King Oberon as he looks down upon the antics of the silly lovers, and pine trees provide perches for his servant, Puck. After Puck transforms him with a donkey-head, Nick Bottom suddenly becomes the only mortal who can see, hear and talk with the fairies and their queen, Titania.

The cast and crew from Virus Theater, led by director Bo Bergström (maker of ten short films and two features), transformed low-budget into a high-creativity fusion of cinematic energy, dynamic imagery and editing, graphics and tints from the digital paintbox.

Bergström says, "I love playing with image, text and music, and this film was the perfect project in which to do that. We wanted to communicate something about the human experience that suggests the depth and breadth of Shakespeare, with many different moods, emotions, and locations. Our film is a new take on a hallowed comedy that respects Shakespeare's poetry but is unconventional in its staging and modern-dress anachronism."

Music by Joseph Rivers. At 157 minutes, this DVD is the most complete version available, and it's the only one with cinematic playfulness to resonate with Shakespeare's wordplay.


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